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The Ball Game of Working Capital Management

The Ball Game of Working Capital Management

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There are two elements in the business cycle that absorb cash - Inventory (stocks and work-in-progress) and Receivables (debtors owing you money). The main sources of cash are Payables (your creditors) and Equity and Loans. Each component of working capital (namely inventory, receivables and payables) has two dimensions TIME and MONEY. When it comes to managing working capital - TIME IS MONEY. If you can get money to move faster around the cycle (e.g. collect monies due from debtors more quickly) or reduce the amount of money tied up (e.g. reduce inventory levels relative to sales), the business will generate more cash or it will need to borrow less money to fund working capital. As a consequence, you could reduce the cost of bank interest or you'll have additional free money available to support additional sales growth or investment. Similarly, if you can negotiate improved terms with suppliers e.g. get longer credit or an increased credit limit, you effectively create free finance to help fund future sales.
Basics, concepts and methods